A child on a typical school day spends approximately 6 hours in the school. The time in the school is governed by a very strict timetable, which does not offer the child any chance to experiment or do something that he/she may want to do at any particular moment of time. So, if a child is keen on solving a math problem but the timetable says, it’s an English period, the child has do to English. There is absolutely no way out.
In this new age, where a young child is being exposed to so many things at such an early age, the whole idea of timetabling acts as a restriction and is bound to create frustration in the child in the long run.
We spoke to a member of our team who has done a lot of training programs at schools and he had an interesting experience to share. One of his training sessions in a class used to happen immediately after the sports period and that incidentally was his most unsuccessful batch ever. The reason was simple. Children used to come from the sports period sweaty, breathing heavily and all they really cared about was a bottle of water. It is indeed an improbable assumption to make that they would be able to concentrate on what was being literally forced upon them. Of course, it can be argued that if the content was good enough, it would be able to make children interested. Good content indeed made a few interested, but a lot of others wanted to do just rest and relax after a grueling sports period.
While s 15-minute yoga session might have helped, the point we are trying to make that while the child is in the school, his/her levels of concentration vary greatly with time. Some may find themselves highly focused early in the morning, while some after the lunchtime and some others during the last two hours of the school. Moreover, the kids may be interested in different things while they are active and totally different things while they are losing their concentrations a bit. Our existing school set-up with its timetable structure unfortunately does not take this into account. All students irrespective of how they feel have to follow the same timetable and therefore by default have to study the same subjects and even the same topics like everyone else. They all study Math together; go to library or to the playground or even the music room together.
While it may still take time to figure out an ideal way to resolve this within the school, online education can help bring some balance in this scenario. Online education where the child can access the content with a unique user ID and password gives the freedom to the child to study what they want to, where they want and most importantly when they want to. All you need is a computer or a tablet connected to the Internet. It can also be an interesting and an easy way for parents to get involved in their kid’s education and also monitor their activities online.
The key however is to be able to give the child the kind of content that he/she really enjoys working upon. Because, that is what will make the child want to learn more and come back to the online portal. But, if we can give the child access to good quality, playful and engaging content, it can really be a game changer and something that we strongly believe will transform the way education happens.
Another big advantage of using online labs is that the teachers can stay connected to the students even during the long breaks and ensure continuous learning. It can even turn out to be much better activity for students during vacations.
Our early experiments at Gudskool with our online math lab software have been very encouraging. As per the reports that we have gathered from various schools who are currently using the online lab, there seems to a good spike in number of students spending after school time in solving problems and learning more about topics being taught in the classrooms. The overall happiness level of students also seems to be improving and they are beginning to enjoy learning Math. When asked about what is triggering the change, the teachers and some of the students reported that while they are enjoying the content, doing activities and playing games, it is the flexibility of doing it anywhere, anytime which is clearly the winner.
And if you have any views on online model of education, please share with us at firstname.lastname@example.org